Last Updated on: October 7, 2022
Raw power. A sound that warps every panel and glass on your car. That resonates through your floorboard. Your seat. Your bones.
For you, this is heaven.
For your neighbors? Well. They pray for you to get away as fast as possible. They can’t handle the pain. They don’t understand it. But you do.
And oh do you want to feel more of it. So you’ve gone out looking for the best SPL subwoofers your money can buy. But there are a lot of options out there. And you’re likely not sure which is best for you.
That’s why I wrote this article. To help you pick the best SPL subwoofer for you. If you’re in a rush, then my numero uno pick is the Skar Audio EVL-10 D2.
Read on to find out why. Check out also the other great selections I’ve laid out for you.
Table of Contents
- Top 5 Best SPL Subwoofers Reviewed
- What Is SPL?
- Sound Quality
- SPL Vs Sound Quality—What’s The Difference?
Top 5 Best SPL Subwoofers Reviewed
1. Skar Audio EVL-10 D2 10”—Best Overall
If you’re looking for a sub that can take one hell of a beating. While still giving you heavy-hitting, accurate bass consistently. Stop here. You’ve found what you’re looking for in a car audio system.
With a peak power of 2000 watts and RMS power of 1000 watts, the Skar Audio EVL-10 gives you a thunderous bass. But how much can you get on an ongoing basis? Well, this beast can run incredibly close to peak power!
These competition subwoofers easily swallow 1500 watts. And burp out some of the most beautiful, accurate bass you’ve ever heard.
But listen to this. The Skar Audio EVL-10 doesn’t even need to get up to 1000 RMS to play really, really good! And that’s because of the hard-to-rival features this sub packs.
And check out the voice coil. This SPL subwoofer has 10-inch dual voice coils (2 Ohms) for bone-jarring and realistic music. It uses a competition-grade paper cone. And it’s a non-pressed paper cone. With a high roll foam surround—it gives you high-quality sound.
The advanced airflow cooling system. And the 3-inch high-temperature copper voice coil allows this monster to take high amounts of power for long periods. Without overheating.
Its frequency response ranges between 28-300 Hz for that low bass you want.
Imagine what happens when you wire 2 of these to your amp. Wow.
- Crystal clear, loud, and realistic sound
- Industry-leading features that allow it to take lots of power for long periods
- Can put out a heavy amount of bass even if it’s underpowered
- The spiders could be stiffer. But it’s not too bad.
It’s strong, has great sound, and can take a massive beating. If you’re looking for the best SPL subwoofer, then this could be a great addition to your car audio system.
2. Skar Audio Dual 10″ SDR Series Bass Package—Power Hungry Animal
This monster has a peak power of 2,400 watts. And an RMS of 1,200 watts. But that’s not even the best part of this animal. And if you’re a fan of Skar, be prepared to be amazed.
The Skar Audio Dual 10” comes, preloaded, with the 2 legendary SDR-10 subwoofers. Pre-wired and installed in a custom-design enclosure. The enclosure is vented. This allows it to give you massive audio. The loudest, most powerful bass it can.
And I’ve not even talked about the amplifier. The Skar Dual 10” comes loaded with one. The Skar RP-1200.1D. And you can get some amazing power from it. And when you pair it specifically with the SDR-2X10D4? Well, make sure there’s nothing fragile near you!
And to assist the amplifier, there’s a Skar 4 Guage OFC wiring kit. This provides constant, clean power to the incredible RP-1200.1D all day long. This SPL subwoofer has an impedance of 1 Ohm. So it can deafen you with little power.
And to make installing and using it convenient for you. You also get a 4 Gauge Complete Oxygen-Free Copper Amplifier Installation Kit. A 17 ft. 4 Gauge OFC Matte Blue Ultra Flexible Power Cable. 3 ft. of 4 Gauge OFC Matte White Ultra Flexible Ground Cable. Wait there’s more.
A 17 ft. Matte Blue OFC Remote Turn-on Wire. A 17 ft 2-Channel Twisted Pair RCA Interconnect Cable. 20 ft. of 16 Gauge Matte Blue/White multi-stranded OFC Speaker Wire. And
3 ft. of Black Flex Wire Loom.
Whew. That’s a lot of stuff.
- The kit provided makes installation a breeze.
- You can easily control the amp from anywhere in your car. Because it comes with a remote.
- It comes with an amplifier designed specifically for it
- Doesn’t include a LOC2 converter for RCA output for the stock head units in the kit. It’s not a deal-breaker. But would be super nice to have.
If you’re looking to control a lot of power, and you have enough space. The Skar Audio Dual 10” dual package animal is perfect for you.
3. SA-12 D4 CLASSIC – Sundown Audio 12″ SA Series Subwoofer—Heavy But Clear Sound
Incredible. The SA-12 D4 Classic only has an RMS of 750 watts. But it’s sound! Pure. Clean. Thunder.
That’s because of its large 12-inch diameter and dual 4 Ohm voice coil. This allows it to give you a loud, deep sound.
The SA-12 D4 features an aluminum 2.5” voice coil. An optimized high-velocity pole vent. And a vented magnetic gap. So bring the heat. These SPL subwoofers can take it.
It’s got a sensitivity of 84dB. And a low, low-frequency response range of 20-200 Hz. This gives you incredible low bass.
And Sundown doesn’t skimp on durability. This sub comes with a high-strength cast aluminum frame and a sturdy surround.
And get this. You can mount these SPL subs in a sealed or ported box!
If you’re going sealed, then the manufacturer recommends a box of 1.0 ft3. For ported casing, they recommend a box of 2.0 ft3. Whichever you go for, expect a clear and thunderous sound.
- Accurate, clean sound
- Made to take a beating. They can get pushed hard right out of the box
- Compatible with vented and sealed enclosures
- Built tough
- Takes a lot of watts to build up to a good bass
If you’re looking for massive audio. Something loud, accurate, but not power-hungry. Consider this sub.
4. CT Sounds MESO-8-D2 Car Subwoofer—Best Value
The MESO-8-D2’s diameter is only 8 inches. But don’t let that deceive you. It’s an absolute unit.
At 800 watts RMS and peak power of 1600 watts, these SPL subs hit incredibly hard. The dual 4 Ohm voice coil configuration also helps. And it’s not just these features that contribute to the impressive bass from the MESO-8-D2.
It comes with a competition mega foam surround. And a 5% carbon-fiber-reinforced cone. Together, they not only make for a sub that produces rich, deep bass. But also one that’s heavy-set and durable.
Adding to its durability and heaviness is the 160 Oz triple-stacked Y35 grade ferrite magnet. And the triple joint ring. Together with a 24 mm chrome top plate.
But wait. There’s more from these SPL subs. It also packs a dual round weaved copper tinsel. And 8 gauge push terminals. And a die-cast aluminum basket. Didn’t I say this thing was an absolute unit?
Now, look at the high-temperature voice coils. The voice coil is 2.4 inch, 4-layer high-temperature CCAW. So these can run at high power levels for longer periods.
Finally, it’s got a sensitivity of 82dB. So expect bone-jarring bass. With little power. It’s an all-around badass.
- The build quality is insane and it’s very heavy-set—even though it’s only an 8
- It has very impressive lows. And can keep up with any bass song you bring its way
- Takes up very little space. But will flex your car’s windshield without much effort
- It can take a beating. Crank up the power, and let the bass dive deep into your soul
- Use this with a ported box with lower tuning. The results? Wow.
- They don’t have the best warranty. They won’t back anything not bought directly from them. And what they do have is only a return policy that lasts 30 days
This beast will handle almost anything you throw at it. If you want massive audio and chest-thumping bass without giving your wallet a heart attack— CT Sounds MESO-8-D2 might be your best bet.
5. Planet Audio AC8D 8-Inch Car Subwoofer—Best Budget Option
Don’t be fooled.
Simply because this is the best budget option, doesn’t mean you won’t get great sound.
The Planet Audio AC8D subwoofer comes with a dual 4 Ohm, 2-inch high temperature voice coil. So expect some pounding bass. And expect it for a long period without the unit heating up.
And get this. The cone is made from polypropylene. This gives you two great benefits. A sub that sounds good. And one that lasts long.
The Planet Audio AC8D also comes with a flexible surround foam for high efficiency. This translates to a very good excursion. Which translates to clean, accurate bass. Now that’s all great. But it’s not even the end of it.
It has a stamped basket. This creates a strong and rigid platform that allows you to hear clean, clear music. It’s got a sensitivity of 85dB. So expect pounding bass at low power. Wow. For a budget option, it sure can stand its ground against some more expensive subs out there.
- Can take a lot of heat. So you can play at high power for long periods
- Uses a foam surround. This helps to create a great excursion
- The cone is made out of Polypropylene. So it lasts a long time.
- It sounds clear and hits lows very well. You’ll feel your seats vibrating from this little monster’s output
- It has a nice, subtle style. Great if you love low-key aesthetics.
- The rings aren’t attached until you screw them. So it’s an extra thing you have to do during installation
This thing is downright fantastic when you consider the price. If you’re really strained for cash, but still want great sound, this was made for you.
What Is SPL?
SPL (sound pressure level) is the boom of the subwoofer. It refers to how loud it can go. In more technical terms. It’s the force that a sound wave exerts on a surface. This force is perpendicular to the direction the sound is traveling in. It’s measured in decibels (dB).
For more on the science of sound pressure level, check out this video:
If your focus is on massive audio and thumping bass, then it’s you’ll usually be speaking in SPL subwoofers. These subwoofers are designed to maximize the loudness and deepness of bass.
And it follows that the larger the subwoofer, the louder, and better quality its thunder is. That’s because the larger the surface area of the cone. The more air pressure it will create. And the louder, deeper, and richer the bass will be.
And if you add steel tweeters with intense highs to accentuate the booming? Prepare to be blown away.
For the best enclosure type. Experts usually recommend ported boxes. This is because their design gives you a louder, boomy bass. It does it by pushing out more air through the ports and creating more air pressure. So it just adds to the power of the SPL subwoofer.
One more advantage of ported enclosures. They’re power efficient. This means you can use smaller amplifiers. Relative to those you’d use for a sealed box at least.
So that’s that about SPL. You’re clear on it now.
This is more subjective than anything. And you can’t measure it. It stands for sound quality. And subwoofers that focus on this concept produce more accurate sounds. Sounds that have zero distortion.
These subwoofers pay special attention to spectral balance and tonal accuracy. They also focus on sound imaging. This is the relative position of different instruments on a soundstage.
Linearity is one of the other concepts these subwoofers take into account. This is the relation between the input signal and output signal. Perfect linearity occurs when these signals are equal.
And finally, we have greater noise reduction. Another thing these subwoofers try to do is to make your music sound as accurate and realistic as possible. With subwoofers like this, it’ll feel like you’re there physically with the performers — hearing, perceiving, and feeling the music exactly the way it was intended.
The best type of enclosures for these subwoofers are sealed boxes. That’s because this enclosure type creates tighter, more accurate bass giving more depth to your music. Another case. Usually, smaller subwoofers are used for this purpose.
So now you know what sound quality is. And how it affects your listening experience. But you might still want a more direct comparison.
SPL Vs Sound Quality—What’s The Difference?
To put it simply, if you want tight, accurate bass. Without any distortion muddying up your music. Go for the subwoofers that focus on sound quality. Though you can’t measure it. You’ll generally get music that feels realistic. And that makes you feel closer to the performer.
But if you want thumping bass that warps every flat surface in your car. Sends chills down your spine. And raise the hairs on your skin in excitement. Them a subwoofer made for SPL (sound pressure level) is a sure way to go.
That’s not to say you won’t get great sound quality from an SPL subwoofer. Or great bass from a sound-quality subwoofer. They just prioritize one factor over the other. And in most cases, one suffers. In other cases, they balance out well.
But at the end of the day. It all comes back to taste. Your taste. Think of what you want. And decide.
And you should also note. Subwoofers made for SPL are usually bigger than those made for sound quality. And each subwoofer type requires different enclosures to get the best performance out of them. (Ported for SPL and sealed for sound quality)
Think about all this when making your decision.
There we go. We’ve reviewed the best SPL subwoofers your money can buy. With the Skar EVL-10 D2 coming out on top. It’s a truly well-rounded sub. Scary power levels. While being able to swallow as much as 1500 watts with ease? It’s a veritable monster.
CT Sound’s MESO-8-D2 is also a great runner-up if you’re looking for more value for your money. It’s built like a bull. Strong and heavy. And can take a hell of a beating. Either way, these two subwoofers do one thing very well. They produce sound waves that create a lot of force.